REMOVING THE "DUHS"

                                                                                  REMOVING THE “DUHS” 

 In the modern age of music, it can get very complicated. Trying to stay abreast of constantly shifting technology, dealing with enormous competition, trying to get paid anything in the era of “free music”, presents enormous challenges. It can make the head swim. But whether you are trying to create something for your own friends and family, on your social media, or just to play in a living room, trying to create a local presence in your hometown and area, or working your way up for a “shot at the brass ring”, it usually comes down to four distinct areas. And if you look at it logically, it can be pretty simple. Most of these are “DUHS”. You need to remove those. 
THE FOUR SECTIONS OF MUSIC: 
  
#1. CREATION OF THE SONG. 
You want to have songs, either that you write, collaborate on, or discover for yourself, that stand out, that make people want to hear them over and over again, and tell other people about them. “DUH!!!!” 
This starts with a melody and lyric line. They need to be REPETITIVE, yet not REDUNDANT. 
 Repetitive can reinforce the hook and central elements of the song, REDUNDANT can just be boring. 
While many songs walk a fine line, it is best to keep the lyrics active, be responsive to your audience,
where they can sing or dance along. 
Making the audience feel a connection to the song, like “you are writing THEIR lives.” 
Having a hook that is MEMORABLE. Having a hook or chorus that is SINGABLE. Having a story that is RELATABLE. 
Having a melody with dynamics, musical SECTIONS, becoming an ‘EARWORM” that stays with people all the time. 
"DUH!" 
  
#2. PRESENTATION OF THE SONG  (Live or recorded) 
LIVE presentation is an art unto itself. And in an age of “everyone is a writer and singer” it is even more important to have a polished, personable style. Being able to ENNUNCIATE words, so that people understand what you are saying. Not overwhelming the lyrics with music (unless it is dance or musically focused), having SECTIONS of a song, a little less volume in verses, more dynamics and infectious in choruses. Being identifiable so that people remember you. Standing out on a writer’s night or open mic. Talent audition. Small intimate shows, huge showcases, or “playing to tables and chairs, you always need to be rehearsed, professional, personable. You are a politician. “VOTE FOR ME. VOTE FOR MY SONG.” 
Everything is presentation, presentation is everything. We are in a visual social media now. Face book, Reverb nation. 

 I Tunes, You Tube, and endless streaming and Internet based sites. The higher the level a “pitch”, the more complete the recording needs to be. Putting an amateur, poorly lighted or sounding recording on YOU TUBE, can sometimes be worse than having nothing. Again, you never know who is listening. The same on audio, with songs that could potentially be used in television, film and radio, we now do more complete recordings. The days of just doing a “demo” (demonstration) on a song are fading out as the more applications for songs grow. Don’t spend a fortune, but do realize that you have only one chance to make a bad first impression. Again, you never know who is tuning in. 
"DUH!" 
  
#3. NETWORKING 
The magic word of “Networking” most of the time just means making friends. A huge amount is done online, but still where the ‘rubber hits the road” in terms of a writer, artist, is “pressing the flesh”. Getting into local songwriter’s shows and nights, “open mics”, are a great starting place to find like minded people.  Assembling your own “team’ or circle of friends, for co-writing, co-promotion, sharing the work, help in publicizing, etc. For people who are primarily’ writers’, as opposed to artists, they need to find people who are extensions of them on their songs. Being able to “link up” with other people to build fan base, a crowd in local performances, social network help. All of this are done by creating a LIVE face to face relationship with the audience. 
Making more people like you than dislike you is the key. 
“DUH!” 


#4. BUSINESS 
In the modern era of music, “Business’ can take many forms. As always, making money at anything is business. With less and less money being paid for songs themselves, we are now shifting to “artist branding.” The sale of merchandise, endorsements, sponsorships, etc, in addition to live gigs, sales of physical CD’s or legal downloads, are all part of “Business.” But another part of “business” is creating a presence. Being invited to higher and higher level shows, building fan base, increasing your viability, reputation with peers, advancing in the realm of publishers, managers, venues, agents, Performance rights organizations, building your own BRAND, are all parts of business. Doing one thing a day for your career can help as well as many other things. Perception is reality.   Make them know you. Make them LOVE YOU.
Make them REMEMBER YOU.
"DUH!!!!"

 

4 comments

  • Alice Bargeron

    Alice Bargeron Nashville/Birmingham

    These points hit home. I may know some of this (thanks to you) but we all need reminders sometimes. Good stuff, Marc!!

    These points hit home. I may know some of this (thanks to you) but we all need reminders sometimes. Good stuff, Marc!!

  • Rene Meave

    Rene Meave Michigan

    As always, MAB, you have a way of explaining in simple terms where artist need to focus to keep growing thier careers. I often have artist tell me they don't have gigs, they don't have gear , they don't this or that. If only I had that one gear or open for so and so I would be discover... Yeah. I often tell artist co-write, work on your presentation, listen to other writers and take mental notes as to why thier songs sound better then your songs, why, why, why... Save your money and hire a songwriting coach. Attend writers night wherever and whenever you can. MAB's point on creating your brand speaks for its self. I have learned many valuable lessons from Marc's book of to or not to present your songs, your self and your brand. The next project for me is bringing genres together at the Crossroads. Example, Blues Band, country band and a pop band, all with original songs (with hopefully me in the writing with members of each band), utilizing a venue that can accommodate the event and drawing the audience from these genres for an evening at the crossroads. The years of cultivating artists from these genres has paid off. I am thankful for the teachings of MAB as a guide and for his points on how to remove the DUHS from arists musical caeers. Thank you MAB .

    As always, MAB, you have a way of explaining in simple terms where artist need to focus to keep growing thier careers.
    I often have artist tell me they don't have gigs, they don't have gear , they don't this or that. If only I had that one gear or open for so and so I would be discover...
    Yeah.
    I often tell artist co-write, work on your presentation, listen to other writers and take mental notes as to why thier songs sound better then your songs, why, why, why...
    Save your money and hire a songwriting coach. Attend writers night wherever and whenever you can.
    MAB's point on creating your brand speaks for its self.
    I have learned many valuable lessons from Marc's book of to or not to present your songs, your self and your brand.
    The next project for me is bringing genres together at the Crossroads.
    Example, Blues Band, country band and a pop band, all with original songs (with hopefully me in the writing with members of each band), utilizing a venue that can accommodate the event and drawing the audience from these genres for an evening at the crossroads.
    The years of cultivating artists from these genres has paid off. I am thankful for the teachings of MAB as a guide and for his points on how to remove the DUHS from arists musical caeers.
    Thank you MAB .

  • Charles Cox

    Charles Cox Greenbrier, TN

    Janet & I met Marc when we moved here from NC a year ago. His tutelage, guidance and friendship have streamlined our efforts in acclimating to Music City. Following his advice has helped us become better writers and performers in a relatively short period of time. He has offered solid advice on how best to present ourselves to the local singer/songwriter community and how to navigate the murky waters of the music business in these troubled times. He is the single best source of guidance and knowledge we've found since we arrived. If you care about moving your career forward, follow him on any media you can and go see him live at any opportunity. He is impressive in any format but live he is a force to be reckoned with. Love the blog MAB!

    Janet & I met Marc when we moved here from NC a year ago. His tutelage, guidance and friendship have streamlined our efforts in acclimating to Music City. Following his advice has helped us become better writers and performers in a relatively short period of time. He has offered solid advice on how best to present ourselves to the local singer/songwriter community and how to navigate the murky waters of the music business in these troubled times. He is the single best source of guidance and knowledge we've found since we arrived. If you care about moving your career forward, follow him on any media you can and go see him live at any opportunity. He is impressive in any format but live he is a force to be reckoned with. Love the blog MAB!

  • Dean Stacey

    Dean Stacey Ontario Canada

    Alice is absolutely right it never hurts to hear these things again. Sometimes it's something you've forgotten and sometimes it's just a kick in the butt for stuff you've let slide, sometimes the light bulb doesn't go on until you've heard it a few times. It's good advice no matter how often you hear it. Thanks for taking the time to beat those of us that need it over the head with it Marc .

    Alice is absolutely right it never hurts to hear these things again. Sometimes it's something you've forgotten and sometimes it's just a kick in the butt for stuff you've let slide, sometimes the light bulb doesn't go on until you've heard it a few times. It's good advice no matter how often you hear it. Thanks for taking the time to beat those of us that need it over the head with it Marc .

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